Now that Zavvi have gone and bumped their price of this game up by £2 to £28.95 - effectively eliminating the good that was done by the APRIL2 voucher which now means you can get it for £26.95 - the cheapest you can find an Xbox 360 copy of FFXIII is over at The Hut for £24.73. Pick up this game and you'll be plunged into one of the shiniest RPGs ever to be seen, embroiled in a trademark tale of a band of rebels striving to reveal the true colours of a militaristic, overbearing government.
Final Fantasy XIII isn't a bad game particularly by any stretch of the imagination. It's by far the best looking title in the series, and it really tries very hard to suck you into its narrative - one that is rich in twists and turns and surprising revelations and copious amounts of ham-acting. It's all pretty ridiculous, which is what we've come to expect really.
It's ironic, then, that whilst one half of the game strives to suck you in, the other half does it's very best to push you away. The first half of this game is essentially an RPG on auto-pilot, and runs the risk of alienating and, dare I say it, boring players not taken in by the pretty colours. The combat system is a smooth ride to be sure, but it doesn't make up for twenty hours of pushing 'Up' and 'A' with only cutscenes for comfort breaks.
The game does get better, when you finally reach Gran Pulse the game opens up, bursting free of its shackles and delivering upon its promise. You are finally able to switch around your party, deviate from the main story for the odd side mission and simply explore this sumptuous world into which you you have been dropped. But Square missed a trick not allowing you to explore this rich and detailed world from the word go, and I fear many might be off-put by an extended prologue that forces you to grind your way forward.
Thanks to goonertillidie at HUKD